The actual issue with chronic tinnitus is not just that you have a ringing in your ears. It’s the continual never ending ringing, that’s the real problem.
The constant noise, perhaps rather moderate in volume, might begin as little more than an annoyance. But the ringing can become frustrating and even incapacitating if it continues for days or months or more.
That’s why it’s crucial to have some tips to fall back on, tips that make living with tinnitus less difficult. It can make a big difference if you have a plan when you’re lying in bed struggling to fall asleep because of the ringing or buzzing in your ear.
How You Can Worsen Your Tinnitus
It’s important to keep in mind that tinnitus is commonly not static. Symptoms manifest themselves in spikes and valleys. Sometimes, your tinnitus might be an afterthought, hidden in the background of daily life. At other times, that ringing could be as difficult to dismiss as a full-blown, individualized symphony.
This can be a very uncertain and frightening situation. Perhaps you even get panic attacks while driving to work because you’re concerned about your tinnitus flaring up while you’re in a meeting. That panic attack, in and of itself, can trigger the very episode you’re worried about.
Tips For Living With Tinnitus
The more you understand about tinnitus, the better you can plan for and control the effects. And management is crucial since tinnitus doesn’t have a known cure. There’s no reason that your quality of life has to suffer if you put in place the proper treatment.
Consider Tinnitus Retraining Therapy
Several treatment options for tinnitus incorporate some form of tinnitus retraining therapy (or TRT). The sound of rain on a rooftop is a common analogy: very noticeable at the beginning of a storm, but you stop focusing on it after a while and that rain-on-rooftops sound goes into the background. TRT uses the same principle to train your brain to push the tinnitus symptoms into the background of your thoughts so you will have an easier time ignoring them.
It can take practice to get this technique down.
Get Your Brain Distracted
Your brain is continuously looking for the source of the noise and that’s one of the reasons why tinnitus can be so aggravating. So giving your brain more (and varied) stimulation to focus on can be helpful. Try these:
- Take a bubble bath while reading a book.
- Have music playing while you paint a picture.
- Enjoy some time outside listening to the sounds of nature.
You get the gist: engaging your brain can help you control your tinnitus.
Meditation, as an alternate path, helps you concentrate your attention on a mantra, or your breathing which helps take your attention away from your tinnitus. Another benefit of meditation, at least for some, is that it can decrease blood pressure which is a known cause of tinnitus symptoms.
Manage Tinnitus With a Hearing Aid
Hearing aids that help minimize tinnitus symptoms are already being developed by numerous hearing aid companies. This option is really convenient because they are small and out of your way compared to other strategies. You can relax and let a discreet hearing aid manage the ringing for you.
Have a Plan (And Follow-Through)
The effect of some tinnitus episodes can be lessened, and your stress reaction can be controlled if you have a practical plan for any surges in your symptoms. Consider having a “go bag” containing things you might need. Anything that can help you be prepared for a tinnitus spike, even making a list of helpful exercises will be beneficial because it will keep you from having a panic attack!
The Key is Management
There’s no cure for tinnitus which is usually chronic. But management and treatment of tinnitus is a very real potential. These daily tips (and more like them) can help make sure you are living with tinnitus, and not suffering from tinnitus.